Chowder. . . and a kickin’ Dutch oven

I was going to blog today about the chowder I made last night. It’s a recipe called “Farmhouse Chowder,” and it includes corn, potatoes, bacon, onions, red pepper, chicken, chicken stock, thyme, fresh parsley, and cream.

And when I was making it, I was just struck by how pretty it was in the pot–almost confetti-like with the little bits of red pepper and bright green parsley.

But here’s the thing. It wasn’t that great. It wasn’t bad, certainly, and I might try it again with fresh thyme (which the recipe called for, I didn’t have, and I even ran to the store, then, to get, and they were out) and better chicken. My chicken was leftover chopped chicken from the freezer, which I felt would be just fine, but it ended up being a bit dry on the edges and so that lent a texture to the chowder that wasn’t awesome.

But you know, I’ll always try a recipe like this–start with corn and bacon and throw in some cream and I’m on board, you know what I mean? ;)

And now that I have actually blogged about the recipe that I decided probably wasn’t blog-worthy, I’m going to get to the real point of today.  Check out that Dutch oven that the soup is in.

We’ve had a glass Dutch oven for years–I believe it was a wedding gift. . . ahh. . . from my first wedding. Ahem. But glass isn’t the best material for a piece of cookware like that because it does tend to burn things.

So we’ve been wanting a nice one for years, but the nice ones are pretty pricey. But just before Christmas we were out shopping and saw this beauty–it’s a name brand one, you know, named after one of those food network cooks. I don’t really care about that. But this thing is NICE. It’s heavy–I think it weighs about 15 pounds (empty). But you can do anything in it–sauté, brown, boil, whatever–and then pop it in the oven if need be. I can also use my stick blender in it without worrying about scratching it, which is nice–our other big soup pot has a non-stick finish so I can’t use the blender in that one.

But here’s the awesome part.  This Dutch oven normally sells for $180. Which I would never, ever pay. Not saying it’s not worth that, just saying I would never spend that.  But it was on sale for $110. And there was a $30 rebate from the company.  And we actually had a $50-off coupon for this store.  So we ended up getting this gorgeous piece of equipment for just over $30, with tax.  Now THAT’S a deal.

I have to say, now that I’ve been using it almost daily for the past few weeks, it really probably is worth $180. :)

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